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Boat’s-eye view as parts of South Sudan remain underwater

South Sudan is underwater and under threat. Here is how you can lift the country up in prayer.

Rachael Adams | 13 May 2022

Boats and canoes remain essential for getting around. Tearfund has invested in boats so we can support remote communities that have been cut off by the flood waters | Image credit: John Majok/Tearfund

It is now the rainy season in South Sudan. However, large parts of the country remain severely flooded from record rainfall and a dike that burst its banks last year. With hundreds of thousands of people affected, the thought of more rain is causing widespread fear. Here’s an update from our team and how you can pray.

As whole communities remain underwater, our team has invested in boats so they can reach people with vital support who have been cut off from the floods. They are also able to assess the damage and work out how they can best support communities.

Watch a video, taken by our team in South Sudan, as they travel by boat to reach communities in need.

Nowhere to go

‘People lost everything in these floods,’ Rosemary, from our South Sudan team, tells us. ‘Their homes, their possessions and also their livestock and crops were washed away, leaving them with no way to earn an income.

‘Some communities are now living in tiny compounds, with makeshift sticks holding back the rising waters. Reaching them with support has been difficult.

‘Most people were forced to find refuge on higher ground. But now, more than a year later, the water hasn’t receded.

‘Some people have tried to go back home, but what are they going back to? There is nothing left.’

Further challenges ahead

‘The water has brought so many challenges,’ Rosemary continues. ‘Communities are now facing disease and hunger, as well as snake bites – which can be deadly.

‘Cases of malaria, diarrhoea and other waterborne illnesses have increased. Hunger – and malnutrition – is also rising again, particularly in children. The flooding has cut off some communities from healthcare, so getting medical support is extremely challenging.’

Communities used to get their water from boreholes – large holes drilled into the ground. These have not only been submerged, but also contaminated by dirty water. Tearfund is working to restore these boreholes.

Tearfund continues to provide food support – even though one of our feeding centres remains underwater. Now that farming is no longer an option, we are also supporting people with fishing kits as an alternative way they can provide for their family.

Top: Communities remain underwater in parts of South Sudan | Image credit: Torelo’bet Lojuan Bottom: Many homes are completely flooded by water and accessible only by boat | Image credit: Torelo’bet Lojuan

Small mercies

‘One answer to prayer for our team is that the airstrip is no longer flooded,’ Rosemary shares.

‘While it was underwater, parts of South Sudan were cut off from receiving aid. Now, it is being used again by the United Nations and other humanitarian agencies to bring much needed aid to communities.

‘This is so vital as we are now entering the rainy season, with more hardship expected.

‘We do not know what the future holds. This rainy season brings with it fear and uncertainty. We would really value your prayers for South Sudan at this time. Thank you for standing with us.’

Pray with us

  • Pray for people affected by the flooding for provision of food, clean water and a safe place to call home for as long as they need it. Ask God to bring healing to those who are sick.
  • Pray for God’s guidance, wisdom and favour over our team in South Sudan as they navigate new challenges to reach people in need in ever-changing conditions.
  • Ask God to protect people during the rainy season. Pray for comfort, peace and hope to replace people’s fear over what lies ahead. Pray for an outpouring of joy over those who have suffered and lost so much.

  Rachael Adams


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